Zinnia went into labor on Tuesday night and kidded Wednesday afternoon; day 149 of her gestation. This kidding was much anticipated by myself, given that she has not been able to kid without assistance yet. I've written about all the uterine toning herbs I've been giving her in hopes that she could do it on her own this time. As much as I wanted to give her a chance to do it herself, I ended up going in once again as her labor seemed to be sporadic and again, not progressing as it should. When I went in I found two front legs upside down, no head. The kids were in the same position as last year with their necks turned back alongside their bodies - which has got to be the most frustrating and problematic kidding position and I just dread it.
As the kid was upside down, the neck was down to the bottom left and I couldn't even reach the head. I was trying to get my hand on the inside of the neck to pull the head around but just couldn't. I ended up panicking a bit and just pulling the kid out with the neck still turned back. It was a buckling and he was very weak. I revived him with cayenne tincture on his gums and chest and lots of rubbing and determination. The second and last kid was in the exact same position as the first and I couldn't get that head turned either. At some point I just don't care if the kids make it or not, I just want them out and I want the doe to be ok. Although once they are out I wish I'd taken more time to try. I don't know why I haven't invested in a head puller by now, but it is on the list for next year.
The second kid was a doeling and was in good shape.
Zinnia and her doeling, Dahlia, still a bit wet but standing.
Both kids, buckling on left.
The buckling was alive but not gaining strength very well. I had to pry his mouth open to squirt milk down his throat. For a while he seemed to be doing better and was starting to suck and nurse with help. I limped him along for two days before bringing him inside to nurse him, but he died on Friday morning. My guess is that something was damaged internally from the rough lengthy kidding. I had given him cayenne tincture several more times and it would give him a kick start but then he'd start to peter out again. So once again, Zinnia has one doeling to care for.
I'm beginning to think I have the worst kidding luck ever; in the past six years I've had three kiddings where the first kid or kids were upside down with their heads back, but then as Zinnia has been the culprit the last two times, I'm beginning to think maybe there is something wrong with her; maybe the shape or size of her uterus makes it prone for kids to be in the wrong position? I don't know. But I do know that I am not breeding this doe again. I want easy kidders. I don't even feel comfortable selling her to anyone. She is a beautiful doe, make lovely babies, she is a good mom and a good producer, but that is all the positive I can say about her.
I'm planning on milking Zinnia for a few months or more. I have Zinnia's doeling Clary, from last year and she is beautiful. Dahlia looks like she is also going to have lovely conformation as well. There is part of me that wants to keep the Rose/Zinnia line in the herd, but I am reluctant to keep kids out of a doe with kidding issues. I'd really hoped that Zinnia would impress me with an easy kidding, but it was not to be. When the kids are in a difficult position like that they cannot come out on their own. I'd like to think that if they were in the correct position she could have done it on her own, but I'm not keeping her around long enough to give her another chance, she just isn't a friendly or sweet enough doe.
Fortunately my next doe to kid is Xanadu; who has kidded four times and never had any difficulties - with the exception of her first kidding where she had a big buckling head first and it took the vet to get him out as I was inexperienced at goat midwifery. Xanadu is the sweetest most wonderful goat. The entire herd will be browsing in the woods, but Xan will be wherever I am. Over the years Xan has had seven bucklings and two doelings, one was Avalon who is a wonderful goat that I sold recently. I've always wanted Xan to have a doeling that looks like her - she has had three bucklings that have had her coloring. She is due May 19th and is huge already. She has had triplets her last two kiddings. I'm hoping for strong healthy kids and an easy labor.